Every chance they get, Carroll educators celebrate student victories, big and small. By doing so, they foster joy not simply in what was accomplished, but in all the learning that is yet to come. Following their lead, and in the spirit of year-end reflection, I’ve created my own highlight reel of successes and sources of pride—in no particular order—from 2022. It feels important to pause and take stock of the tremendously meaningful work we engage in at Carroll. What’s more, writing it down has made me even more excited for all that lies ahead in 2023!
1. Our focus on student strengths
I may have taken special notice of this phenomenon last year—it was, after all, the first full year of face-to-face, in-person engagement since the arrival of COVID—but I was struck by it nonetheless: There are 200 adults in our Carroll community, and every single one is exceptionally focused not on the challenges our students must overcome, but on the strengths they already possess. This asset-based mindset is not something that can be taught in school; it’s the remarkably natural, default orientation of our educators. And it is amazing to watch how it transfers to our students, helping them to grow in confidence, believe in their abilities, and flourish.
2. Our alumni
Last June, 108 students graduated from Carroll, bound for over 90 different secondary schools. From independent day and boarding schools to public, charter, technical, and parochial schools, students’ post-Carroll journeys are increasingly rich and varied, and testament to our success preparing kids for the next, best-fit step in their education. And happily, they are eager to come back and visit! In 2022, for the first time since the pandemic began, alumni returned to our campuses to share their experiences with students, parents, and educators.
3. Our graduate teaching program
2022 marked the 19th year of The Angela Wilkins Program of Graduate Studies in Education, a partnership with Lesley University. Not only have we hosted and helped to train more than 120 graduate interns to work effectively with students struggling with language-based learning differences, students and teachers alike have learned a great deal from their fresh perspective in our classrooms. Last spring, we were proud to graduate our second cohort of teachers from The Fellowship for Teachers of Color, a scholarship program funded by generous Carroll School donors.
4. Our partnerships
Perhaps you've already read about our partnership with Rigamajig and how our educators are using it to build STEM, language, and critical thinking skills with our 4th graders. We are excited to see how this partnership expands and grows in the year ahead. In more partnership news, our participation in dynamic research projects with Dr. John Gabrieli’s neuroimaging lab at MIT as well as with Stanford University’s Reading & Dyslexia Research Program is extending Carroll’s impact well beyond the classroom by helping the field better understand dyslexia and the brain.
5. Our self-study and reaccreditation
As part of our 10-year reaccreditation process with the AISNE (Association of Independent Schools in New England), we launched a rigorous self-study last year, a formal opportunity to honestly examine our efforts—across departments and disciplines—to deliver on our mission. A Visiting Team comes to our campuses in the fall, and we look forward to learning and growing as a community based on their feedback.
6. Our Annual Fund
The Carroll Annual Fund hit record highs last year—over $1.5 million—surpassing our goal. In part, it supports the $3.4 million we offered in financial assistance to 25% of our families.
7. Our after-school programs
Speaking of record numbers, more Carroll students than ever demonstrated interest in our athletics, arts, and other extracurricular programming last year, from interscholastic sports teams to after-school art, supervised study, explorations in Bounders Woods, and our Friday programming. Our students gravitate to this important downtime with each other and their teachers.
8. Our commitment to professional development
Eighty hours—that’s the commitment each and every Carroll educator made to their own professional development over the course of the last school year. In fact, they commit 80 hours every school year. It reflects their commitment to lifelong learning and to the cutting-edge pedagogy, practice, and methods that give each child what they most need to thrive.
9. Our commitment to belonging
Our mission statement, which we revised in 2021, pushes us to embrace the diverse strengths, identities, and lived experiences of everyone in our school community. Last year more than ever, we witnessed the extent to which acknowledging and celebrating these differences helps us to grow our community of belonging. At Carroll, by just being you, you belong.